CHINA – President Barack Obama said Monday that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is “exercising his constitutional right” by not standing for the national anthem.
“I gotta confess that I haven’t been thinking about football while I’ve been over here and I haven’t been following this closely,” Obama said Monday during a news conference at the conclusion of the G20 summit in China. “But my understanding, at least, is that is he’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so.”
Kaepernick has refused to stand for the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before 49ers pre-season games, protesting police violence against African-Americans.
Kaepernick’s protests have spurred outrage in certain quarters, with some, including Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling for him to leave the country.